Ecommerce is a tight niche. Its highly competitive and most rewarding. If you are in the process of ecommerce website development, you might want to look at some aspects which I will go through in this article
So how to make you ecommerce website worthy ?
Well lets start at the goal. Our goal is to attract the attention of a prospective customer and also convince him to come back because as you know if you can win their loyalty you can increase the lifetime value of the customer. In this volatile website world, you only have a few seconds to make the impact.
Before we can expect the customers to behave as they should, we should first ask ourselves these pertinent questions ?
Have I used the correct technology to build up my ecommerce website. It is appropriate or overkill. For example if you use magento for 1 product, you might have to rethink your platform choice.
How does my website look, does it look attractive ?
How is the user experience on the website, are the people able to navigate easily. ?
Easy access to information
Does my website follow the 3 click rule. The 3 click rule states that a customer / user should be able to navigate to any section of the website within three clicks. If not, you risk loosing the customer. ?
Data collection at every point of the user journey is really critical to the success of the business. By data I just don’t need heatmaps, I also mean any preferences the customer might have saved during his journey. You can integrate external tools to get a bird’s eye view of the business. For example google analytics can give you a lot of insights on the behaviour of your audience and give you pointers on your pain areas.
If it is a local store, do the users know that they are serviceable ?
Home Page Button
Is the home page easily accessible, it’s a pattern these days to include the homepage link on all the pages of the website, this really helps the customer keep the anchor and navigate around easily.
Ecommerce websites have begun to mimic the offline store experience, with virtual tours, video catalogues, it has become easier and easier to get into the personal space of the consumer, where you can greatly influence his buying decision. Do you want to leave your customers to wrestle with a chat bot, or you can be available on live chat. Having an option of assisted shopping will greatly improve your conversions. Anotehr great way to put is to add consultancy on the top of the products. For example if you sell astrological gem stones, you might want to give consultation for free on live chat or through a request form.
Is the checkout process easy, are there too many form fields that are frustrating the user.
Are major cues following the internet lingo. What i mean is, that you follow the naming conventions. People shop around the entire internet all the time. Many websites name their elements the same as everyone else. For example, ADD TO CART, QUANTITY, MY ACCOUNT, ORDER HISTORY. Don’t be creative around these texts. You might be surprised to know that customers will not buy if they don’t see ADD TO CART and this is an actual case that happened with one of our clients.
Always incentivise the buyer to make an account but never force him to, since, he wants to quickly make a purchase and in that moment we should be as supportive as possible. We should not put forth conditions and hamper his buying momentum. There may be some cases where a compulsory signup is required. For example if you are selling courses online and you have a learning management system, you would want a customer to signup first since you can give him a dedicated area to consume the course and also you want verified customers.
Does my website load fast. This is one thing that plagues a lot of new ecommerce website companies because often page load speed are ignored by new startups and companies. I cannot stress much on the importance of page load speeds. Page load speeds are a mix of technical and non technical factors. I would advise you to optimize your perceived page load speed. You might score low in GT Metrix but the perceived load speed of the website might be faster.
Catalogue pages are very important aspect of any ecommerce website. There is a psychological concept of closure. Often advertisers want people to land on a particular category page rather than the actual product page. This is done with a particular goal in mind, its about making the user feel that he is control of his choices and also help him explore another opportunity which might not present himself if he were to land on a specific product page. Catalogue pages should be developed in such a way that is easier for the user to filter the information according to the his needs. For example he may want to sort the entire catalogue by price.
Returns are one thing that are a bit tricky to handle for developers, since the payments have to be reversed, the order has to be cancelled, the invoice has to be cancelled, so on and so forth. Having an easy way to return the product goes a long way in converting a customer, since its Ecommerce and there is no physical store, a strong return policy and framework is absolutely essential to the entire process. A customer needs to trust your website before making a purchase.
Offers & Promotions
Having the facility and mechanism for generating offers and coupon codes is a great way to keep your customers hooked on to the website. India is a very price elastic market. A small decrease in price can trigger a greater increase in demand. Price elasticity is an economic concept but you don’t need to understand economics to understand that India is a price sensitive market. Keep your ecommerce store full of promotions and offers and you will see your sales graph rising.
This is one aspect that troubles a lot of ecommerce store owners, order tracking should be simple and it should be linked and integrated with real time shipping updates. A user must be able to track his shipment and order status from his backend. These days it is really easier to integrate real time shipping updates in the customer backend.